Since I’ve recently covered ‘What To Ask Your Caterer‘, I figured it would be a good idea to post a list of venue questions! [What can I say, I’m here to help!]
What is the typical layout for the reception room? It’s important to get a visual – figure out where things such as buffets, desserts, bar, gift table, DJ, photo booth, dance floor and typically how the tables are spaced out.
It’s important to know what you’re working with – if you are planning a larger wedding, you’ll want to ensure you can fit all your guests.
Part 1: What is the cost of the venue rental? Don’t be afraid to ask if they discount [or even waive] the fee if there is minimal food and beverage met.
Part 2: What is included with this fee? Are you just getting the venue, or is the set-up of chairs/tables/linens included?
How many hours are included in the rental fee? Is there a cost for additional hours? When can we set up? When do we need to be out by?
When can you access the venue to begin set-up; a lot of places will allow you in the evening before if they don’t have anything booked. It’s best to get it written into the contract so there are no issues. What time can vendors begin their set-up the day of? This is important to tell people like your planner, DJ, florist, and baker.
If there isn’t an obvious bar area, you’ll want to ask where the bar will be set-up. Is there access to a cooler, running water, ice?
Are you required to use a list of the venues “preferred vendors” or can you bring in your own?
Where do they normally set-up? If you are using outside caterers, they will likely need their own space. Where is the DJ going to be stationed? You want them close to the dance floor.
“Will there be a venue representative on site?”
Imagine you’ve dealt with someone during the entire planning process. Then you show up to your venue to learn they aren’t on-site and a stranger will be taking care of you. There is a possibility everything could go exactly according to your plan – there is also a possibility it won’t and there will be a lot of “I don’t know”. THIS is why I have a venue management package available.
Are there enough electrical outlets available? What about a microphone? Will you need the DJ to have one available, or will the venue allow you to use there (always see if there is a fee included). Also, is there a noise limit?
This is important to know, for everyone! Is there paid parking, free parking, or no parking at all. I always recommend to put information on your wedding website, give your guests a heads up if there isn’t “obvious” parking available. Nothing worse than needing change for paid parking and not having any coins on you!
Where are the restrooms located? Are your guests expected to go to another level or even another building (depending on your venue)? Are they private to your group? This could be important if you’re having a basket available in the restrooms.
Depending on your location and the season, you may inquire about if there is a coat check available. Coats over chairs are going to ruin your ambiance, and get annoying for guests.
The deposit is typically due when you finalize the contract and is used to hold your date. So with that being said, how much is the deposit? 50% is standard. When are payments due and better to be safe, always ask about the Cancellation policy.
Nice to know if there is a Bridal Room available, for either the Bride or Groom. It’s a little awkward if either of the wedding parties are just hanging out in sight of the guests.
It’s a good idea to ask about any insects’ problems or allergens. Better if you spend 10 minutes outdoors and see for yourself. It may look beautiful but if you suffer from Willow Tree Pollen, you might want to take some allergy pills before.